There are many benefits for elite ski racers who compete in the NorAm series—World Cup quota is only one. The NorAm series is the highest level of FIS racing that occurs entirely in North America. It allows the best domestic athletes to compete against a high caliber of international skiers. And it is, unquestionably, a good place to lower your FIS points when you are skiing well. The NorAm circuit is also a great series for athletes to prove they belong on their national teams.
However, if you are one of the top NorAm competitors, you could earn a unique World Cup start position. If you finish the year as one of the top two North Americans, Canadian or U.S., in an event, you earn a unique start position in that discipline. Additionally, if you win the NorAm overall, you make a unique start position in all the individual alpine events.
World Cup basic quota
Who is qualified to race in alpine World Cups?
Every nation gets a basic quota of one competitor.
However, you must meet a minimum standard to use the basic quota.
Directly from the alpine World Cup rule book:
Slalom / Giant Slalom Minimum requirements: Maximum 140 FIS points in one of the five events (SL, GS, SG, DH, AC) on the valid FIS points list. For Men´s events: Competitors must be ranked within the first 150 of the valid FIS point list in the event concerned or within the first 30 of the WCSL in one of the following events SL, GS, SG, DH or AC.
Downhill / super-G minimum requirements: Maximum 80 FIS points in the respective event according to the valid FIS points list (valid also for 500 points competitors and those qualified from Continental Cups). For Men’s events: Competitors must be ranked within the first 150 of the valid FIS point list in the event concerned or within the first 30 of the WCSL in one of the following events SL, GS, SG, DH, or AC.
Furthermore, there are additional criteria for alpine combined and parallel events.
Nation quota spots
There are additional national quotas for teams with athletes amongst the top 60 on the World Cup start list.
For each event, a national quota is calculated periodically according to the World Cup Starting List (WCSL). The periods are adapted to the respective calendar planning and fixed before the start of the competition season. The quota is established based on the number of competitors per nation, classified within rank 1 to max. 60 of the WCSL in the event concerned. There is no moving up.
A National Ski Association may enter a maximum of eight [women] seven [men] for competitions.
Replacement of competitors Qualified competitors from within the national quota can be replaced by competitors ranked within the first 60 of the WCSL or the first 120 ranked (80 for men’s events) on the valid FIS points list, each in the respective event,
Rules for competitors with continental cup spots
However, you are subject to different rules if you have a NorAm personal start position.
Qualification for the FIS World Cup of the Continental Cup Overall Winners Qualified competitors of the Continental Cups, according to the Continental Cup rules, qualify to start in the respective events of the FIS World Cup in addition to the national quota in the season following the result (Southern Hemisphere: same season) if they are classified within the first 350 of the valid FIS points list in the event concerned. The Organizing Committee must also pay their accommodation costs, food and beverage.
For a select few, a significant blessing came from the COVID situation during the 2020/21 season. By earning a NorAm WC start spot from the 2019/20 season, you had it for two seasons. No NorAm races occurred during the COVID season of 2019/20. Due to the situation, the people who held those start spots for the 20/21 season kept them for the 21/22 season. Consequently, a highly successful 2019/20 season paid dividends for the next two.
So, who are these talented racers earning World Cup start spots on the NorAm? Let’s take a look.
It is common to see the spots change hands between nations. When racers focus on the World Cup or European Cup races, new NorAm athletes emerge in North America.
WC spots earned through NorAm